Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 10-01-2006, 03:18 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
Figure 8 Puffer: Help!

My figure 8 puffer fish seems to have become poorly yesterday and today, and I'm beginning to get really concerned.

Symptoms:
He is staying close to the substrate, in one spot, and struggling to swim. His pectoral fins are clamped, and his caudal fin is occasionally clamped. His gills seemed redder than usual, though his breathing doesnt seem 'desperate'. When he does swim, he seems lethargic like it's too much effort and gives up part way through to float back down to the bottom of the tank. He also seems to be bumping in to things (like rocks) when he tries to swim, which he's never done before.
He has also been 'nashing' his teeth (the bottom dental plate only) constantly.

Conditions:
I've had him for 2 months in a tank which I had ready cycled by moving across an internal power filter from another fully stocked FW tank. I measure params twice weekly, and aside from a spike in nitrIte during Week Two to 0.125, his levels have been: 0 Ammonia, 0 NitrIte, 5-8 NitrAte.
He lives in a salinity of 1.005 S.G. -> brackish conditions.
I do a weekly 25% water change and keep salinity maintained.
His tank is on the small side: 8G/30L. I have a tank on order which (annoyingly) is arriving in two weeks. This is a 63L 2' tank in which I was hoping to house him with two of my black mollies from my other FW tanks.
Diet: Bloodworm most days, brineshrimp on other days, occasional days with no feeding, mussles once a week to once a fortnight on shell, snails from my other tanks as and when (say once to twice a week). His belly is not sunken, and is bright white (not black, so showing no signs of stress).

Other Issues:
I have had a hair algae and bright green algae problem the last few weeks. I was assured this was normal in brackish tanks where no algae eating fish are suited as a cleanup crew, and I have been cleaning it as best I can.

Measures Taken (Today):
Water param measurement: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrIte, 8 nitrAte.
50% PWC, removal of three green plants I was using to try (unsuccessfully) to outcompete algae for nutrients, addition of washed silk/plastic plants as replacements, addition of new clean gravel on top of older gravel, addition of 5ml pimafix, addition of 5ml melafix.

Does anyone have any clues?! I'm really surprised by the suddenness of this, and I've a horrible feeling he won't last the night
Attached Images
File Type: jpg poorlypuffer_103.jpg (163.5 KB, 57 views)
__________________

__________________
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 03:30 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
WaterPond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Corunna, Ontario (outside of sarnia)
Posts: 3,139
Send a message via MSN to WaterPond Send a message via Yahoo to WaterPond
wow, that seems weird, maybe some type of poison in the water? (galss cleaner, soap ect...) Sorry i'm not much of a help, i hope your puffer gets better. Just keep up with water changes.
__________________

__________________
Jason

Canadian Aquarium Auction!
WaterPond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 04:58 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
That just gave me an idea and one I'm hoping just saved my puffer's life...(im still crossing everything and praying to any god out there!): no room sprays or anything, but thinking over my emergency PWC just before I went over exactly what I did again in my mind.
Before I did anything he was lethargic as in the photograph. During it I removed the plants, added more gravel, added washed fake plants, and cleaned the internal power filter. I left the UGF running, and the rock, and the original gravel. During that time he started swimming and playing in the UGF bubbles as normal. Once the PWC was complete and the internal power filter cleaned he went back to being lethargic (same as in the pic).

My thinking: I removed the internal power filter -> he was fine. When it was in -> he is poorly.
So, I've taken it out and replaced it with another internal power filter I had running spare in another tank. He perked up nearly immediately, but is still really struggling to swim (is swimming vertically, but at least he's up and about).

I think the other filter was poisoning him somehow...weird. I will keep everyone posted: I know you'll be crossing everything too for me!!!!
Going to set my alarm and do nightly checks on the poor little man.

Edit: and btw, if it turns out to have been that and he lives through it, I'm going to owe you big time!!!!
__________________
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 05:58 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
WaterPond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Corunna, Ontario (outside of sarnia)
Posts: 3,139
Send a message via MSN to WaterPond Send a message via Yahoo to WaterPond
lol, just glad i could help, maybe there was a mild electric current running throught the tank from the filter? i hope he is ok, there may have been some type of poison in the filter though, if it was very low quality it could have been the plastic it is made out of.
__________________
Jason

Canadian Aquarium Auction!
WaterPond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 08:08 PM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,543
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
Do you feed live foods?
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 05:34 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
No, he has frozen bloodworm and frozen brineshrimp. The mussles I give him are alive, but then I freeze them and then on a feeding day I defrost them and break them open for him (he gets half a mussle that way which he never finishes anyway). I'm not sure if they'd still be alive or not.
The snails I feed him are alive though. These are just from my other FW tanks.

I posted in the SW unhealthy fish section too, because most puffers are SW and I was hoping that the symptoms were similar to general puffer illness so someone there might know something, but the post was removed Now I won't have access to SW expertise
__________________
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 05:46 AM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,543
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
I was thinking maybe there was an issue with the live or frozen food. Freezing doesn't always kill bacteria, and when you thaw frozen food (and especially when you don't feed it immediately) it can harbor some nasties in the water. It's a long shot, but maybe you had a mild case of that, or perhaps something infected was caught in your filter.

how's it looking today?
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 05:54 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
Thanks for thinking of things: I need all the brains I can get, I really appreciate it everyone who's replied.

Today he is still the same: swimming about a tiny bit but very awkwardly and lethargically. It's an improvement over yesterday before I removed the internal filter - back then he was just hovering down at the bottom.

What you say about the food; I never did feed him it straight away. I'd always put the mussle in some water to thaw it, and then leave it there of an afternoon or for a few hours and then break it in half to feed him.

The last thing I fed him before he got ill was on Friday night: he had a LOT of bloodworm, I overfed accidentally when a lump of it fell in. He still has his 'feeding belly' but nowhere near as big as when he actually does feed. It sometimes lasts a day after he's eaten lots, but this is now two days. Do you think it could be this?

Another worry I've had is that he's broken his teeth on a mussle/snail: it used to be he'd bare his top beak at me, but he stopped that after eating a snail one day (not an MTS). His bottom dental plate also looks uneven and he 'nashes' it constantly. His mouth is also open much wider than normal but I put that down to his altered breathing (more rapid). This dental worry has been there for a couple of weeks now but he never stopped eating anything so I thought it was all ok.
__________________
For expert advice check out these great sites:
The Puffer Forum: https://www.thepufferforum.com | The Cichlid Forum: https://www.cichlid-forum.com | Cichlid Room Companion Forum: https://www.cichlidae.com | Planet Catfish: https://www.planetcatfish.com | PlecoFanatics: https://www.plecofanatics.com | Gobioid Research Institite: https://www.gobiidae.com | Fishbase.org: https://www.fishbase.org
-------------------------------------------------------
36 Gal: Malawi Cichlids | 36 Gal: Brackish Puffer | 58 Gal: FW Community | 20 Gal: FW RTBS Shark | 10 Gal: FW Breeder
Spares: 20 Gal: Former River Conditions | 8 Gal: Former Fry Tank | 32G: Former Community Tank
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 06:39 AM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,543
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
I don't know. Like I said, I think it'd be a long shot, but I do think its possible. I doubt puffers would eat peas...what do you think? I'm sure you could try maybe. I guess its possible he's constipated? What about activated carbon? Do you have any fresh you can add to your filter?
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 07:15 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
Was worth a try: I skinned some cooked and cooled peas for him (and even tried some with skins on), but he wasn't interested. Even tried on a skewer lol. I once tried to feed him an algae pellet since it was hard and crunchy, but he never showed interest in that, or a shell-on prawn so it could just be he's not keen. But, he didn't eat brineshrimp last night which he normally likes. I'm going to try a couple of bloodworm tonight.

I've added some new AC to the internal power filter in the meantime, using a breeding net as a bag for it. I hope it helps Thanks for the suggestions, like I said I really appreciate this; even though I've not had him long I've grown VERY attached to him and am distraught at the prospect of losing him.


Edit: I just had another thought. You don't think that the flash going off on my camera might have blinded him?! I just realised: I recently took some pictures of him and the flash did go off in them. That was last week, before this all began. And, the way he's acting does suggest he can't see (not feeding, bumping into things, not swimming properly, and I notice his eyes are not following outside movement as much - he always used to look at me whenever I moved somewhere, and I can even put my finger right up to the glass without him moving away like he used to do).


Edit: Ok, I just came up after lunch and found him dead. Thanks for helping everyone.
__________________
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 09:02 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 601
Send a message via AIM to PsiPro Send a message via MSN to PsiPro
I wish I had found this thread sooner

I am sorry for your lost. I also grew very attached to my little Fig8 in a very short time. May he RIP
__________________
PsiPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 10:13 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
Metoo psipro, he was probably the one I was most attached to, probably b/c he was in my room so always about and I saw more of him than my other fish etc.

I'm more clear headed now: when I found him I was extremely upset because I thought he was recovering a little bit. The fact he just suddenly got ill and died in the space of two days is a real shock as well, I still have no real clue what happened.
Before I buried him I took a look at his teeth: they were absolutely fine so that rules out one of my worries. I guess I will never know.

I have the new tank arriving which I'd ordered for him, and all the goods etc. (marine salt, ramshorns breeding pot, you name it etc.), and now I really don't know what to do. He's irreplaceable, and I feel a little sick just thinking about going to get another.
__________________
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2006, 12:13 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: FL
Posts: 601
Send a message via AIM to PsiPro Send a message via MSN to PsiPro
Go save one or two from wal-mart thats how i got mine. I got him free becasue they wern't taking care of them.
__________________
PsiPro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2006, 03:22 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
WaterPond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Corunna, Ontario (outside of sarnia)
Posts: 3,139
Send a message via MSN to WaterPond Send a message via Yahoo to WaterPond
aww, i'm so sorry for your loss. What a bummer. Could it have even been old age?
__________________
Jason

Canadian Aquarium Auction!
WaterPond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2006, 04:57 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
Hi there, thanks for all the tips again everyone, really appreciated
I've come to terms a little more today (yesterday was dreadful) so can think a bit more clearly.

I don't think it was old age, because it was so sudden. We actually figured it out that he was fine most of Saturday day, and it was Saturday evening + Sunday that he suddenly took ill, finally dying on the Monday afternoon around 1.
That's the only solid bit of fact I have. I don't think it was old age since it was so sudden: don't old fish just gradually give up the ghost? Or, are they known to die like this?
I'm not sure about the poisoning thing now either (filter, or whatever else). Nothing new got added to his tank (no ornaments etc., until he was already ill when I did the 50% PWC and removed the plants). The water params were also absolutely fine (in fact cleaner than my other tanks in terms of nitrates), no pH swing or temp change or salinity change. If it was poison of some sort, it had to have been something pretty strong to cause such a dramatic and sudden decline, and I can't think of anything. Nothing was sprayed near his tank or anything either in the run up or immediate days around him taking ill.

The *only* thing I can think of somehow is his feeding on Friday night: too much bloodworm and the possibility the pack was dodgy.

Someone on the puffer forum said that the shipping conditions of puffers is such that many don't even make it to the LFS, and those that do are prone to dying. But, after the time I had him I'd rule out that too.

Really no clue I'm thinking either something giving off toxins I can't think of, or food-related.

He was such a character too
__________________
For expert advice check out these great sites:
The Puffer Forum: https://www.thepufferforum.com | The Cichlid Forum: https://www.cichlid-forum.com | Cichlid Room Companion Forum: https://www.cichlidae.com | Planet Catfish: https://www.planetcatfish.com | PlecoFanatics: https://www.plecofanatics.com | Gobioid Research Institite: https://www.gobiidae.com | Fishbase.org: https://www.fishbase.org
-------------------------------------------------------
36 Gal: Malawi Cichlids | 36 Gal: Brackish Puffer | 58 Gal: FW Community | 20 Gal: FW RTBS Shark | 10 Gal: FW Breeder
Spares: 20 Gal: Former River Conditions | 8 Gal: Former Fry Tank | 32G: Former Community Tank
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 04:28 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
WaterPond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Corunna, Ontario (outside of sarnia)
Posts: 3,139
Send a message via MSN to WaterPond Send a message via Yahoo to WaterPond
could it have choked on gravel?
__________________
Jason

Canadian Aquarium Auction!
WaterPond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 03:06 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 705
Hmm...hadn't thought of that either, but the gravel I was using was fairly large b/c of the UFG and when I took him out to bury I did check his teeth (b/c I was convinced they'd been broken etc.) and mouth, and they were fine so I don't think it was that. Thanks for wracking your brain though!

I think it's just going to be a mystery to me, which is sad because it makes me very nervous about keeping another in case there's something I'm unaware of that would cause the same problem.

I've cancelled my order for the 2' 20G tank I had coming for him, but I am going to look at a larger 30G tank instead in which I might try and house a green spotted puffer. We'll see.

For now though it's a mystery, and he is still very very sorely missed
__________________

__________________
For expert advice check out these great sites:
The Puffer Forum: https://www.thepufferforum.com | The Cichlid Forum: https://www.cichlid-forum.com | Cichlid Room Companion Forum: https://www.cichlidae.com | Planet Catfish: https://www.planetcatfish.com | PlecoFanatics: https://www.plecofanatics.com | Gobioid Research Institite: https://www.gobiidae.com | Fishbase.org: https://www.fishbase.org
-------------------------------------------------------
36 Gal: Malawi Cichlids | 36 Gal: Brackish Puffer | 58 Gal: FW Community | 20 Gal: FW RTBS Shark | 10 Gal: FW Breeder
Spares: 20 Gal: Former River Conditions | 8 Gal: Former Fry Tank | 32G: Former Community Tank
coldmachineUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
puffer

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My figure 8 puffer. neoginn Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 5 08-27-2006 12:19 AM
Figure Eight Puffer CaptnIgnit Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 7 08-24-2006 01:53 PM
figure eight puffer nitrous Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 6 11-05-2005 04:08 PM
Figure of 8 puffer supermatelot Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 7 05-10-2004 07:40 PM
Figure 8 Puffer jasno999 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 7 03-11-2004 08:51 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.